Published in the Current
Pvt. Jacqueline McKenney of Shore Road is in the Maine Army National Guard and a first-year midshipman at the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine. A 2002 graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School, McKenney completed basic training in July at Fort Jackson, S.C., and began school at
Maine Maritime in August.
She joined the Guard in February and had to skip CEHS graduation to attend basic training.
While there, “she did really well,” said her father, Paul McKenney. She was second in her company for physical fitness.
Her basic training experience was, Paul said, “very realistic.”
Many of the recruits in her class were heading for infantry units destined for the Middle East. The drill instructors, Paul said, wanted to be sure they were trained especially well for the tough combat that could come their way.
McKenney will attend her Advanced Individual Training for work as an aviation operations specialist next summer. She is a member of the 112th Air Ambulance Company, based in Bangor.
McKenney’s family has a long history of military service. Her grandfather was in the Navy, and her father, Paul, a former active-duty Army officer, is now a major in the headquarters unit of the Maine Army National Guard. His five brothers have also served in various branches of the military, including the Maine National Guard, and Jackie’s twin brothers, Alex and Aaron, now both seniors at CEHS, are planning to enter the military when they graduate, either at one of the service academies or through an officer training program at the colleges they choose.
After graduation from Maine Maritime, McKenney is hoping to transfer into the Navy. In the meantime, she is taking advantage of an incentive program in which the Maine National Guard covers all of her tuition at any state school and gives her a salary to be a student.
“We’re very proud of her,” her father said.